Population and population policy
Countryaah website, China has a population of around 1.4 billion. Around 51.9% of
them are men and 48.1% women.
The population of China, the most populous country in the world, makes up about
20% of the world's population. Although the population density of the People's
Republic of about 135 residents per square kilometer is not very large, it
must be remembered that it is an average figure and that the giant cities with
their gigantic population density are compared to areas (especially western
China) which (due to the geographical conditions) are not very large many people
can accommodate. The most sparsely populated “part” of China is Tibet. There are
only 2 people per square kilometer. Most Chinese live within the coastal regions
in the east of the People's Republic, which is also where some of the most
densely populated regions in the world are located. About 90% of the population
of China live on just 1/3 of the national territory.
The Chinese government responded to the problem of overpopulation with
measures that are unique in the world, such as the concept of one-child
marriage which has even been enshrined in its own law. This measure,
introduced in 1979/80, must be understood as a reaction to the enormous increase
in the country's population since 1949. It stipulates that only one child may be
born in each family, although there are also many exceptions (e.g. for national
minorities): E.g. Farming families whose first child is a girl are allowed to
have a second child. Anyone who does not adhere to this one-child policy is
punished with fines, disadvantages (for example, when allocating kindergarten
places or living space), but can also experience abortions or sterilizations
forced by the state. In practice, however, the one-child policy was only more or
less enforced in the cities and not in the countryside. Nevertheless, according
to government reports, between 1994 and 2004 enabled a birth rate reduction of
around 300 million. The one-child policy is still law, but has been relaxed,
most recently in 2004 for Shanghai, where divorced and remarried partners are
allowed to have a child again.
In 2015, however, this policy was further relaxed, not least because of the
increasing aging population.
The Chinese government has responded in particular to the problem of girl
abortion and killing: For example, the determination of the sex of unborn
children is prohibited under criminal law or special benefits are granted for
families with two female children (for example in the case of national
minorities or twin births).
Only about 20% of China's 1.4 billion people still live in cities, the rest
live in the countryside. About 90% of the population of China are descendants of
the Han Chinese, i.e. descendants of the people of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220
Around 8% belong to the 55 officially recognized national minorities (Zhuang,
Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetans, Miao, Manchu, Mongols, Buyi, Koreans, and other
nationalities), which cover over 60% of Chinese territory - mainly in the
steppes and the mountains of the border provinces live scattered.
Officially, the People's Republic is an atheist state. Since the
majority of Chinese have not professed any religious denomination after more
than half a century of communism, there are also no official statistics on
religious affiliation. A statistical recording of the distribution of religions
would always be problematic, since it is normal in Asian cultures to profess
more than one religion. Traditional religions in the Asian cultural area are
Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Christianity and Lamaism (in Tibet and Inner
Mongolia). The old Chinese folk and superstition and Confucianism are also very
influential today. Although Confucianism was specifically fought under Mao
Zedong, as a social ethic it now shapes the moral behavior of the
Chinese. Although the Chinese Communist Party has embarked on a reform course
and the relevant regulations are dealt with much more liberally than in the
early 1980s, the practice of belief is still subject to strict
limits. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the reform course, there has been a
strong influx in temples and monasteries due to the increased social
insecurity. In the same context, there is an increase in new religious movements
that have emerged since the late 1980s and which the authorities initially
ignored. Falun Gong is the most famous of these movements. The Chinese
government is skeptical of Christianity, Islam and Lamaism. Often, especially
with the Muslim minority living predominantly in northwest China, as well as
areas of tension with the Lamaist current of Buddhism, which is at home in
Tibet. Only the subordinate churches, like the Chinese Catholic Patriotic
Association, are allowed by the Chinese Communist Party. The main reason for
this tolerance is that this Catholic Church does not recognize the Pope as the
highest authority, but the Communist Party. Overall, an estimated 6.5% of the
population profess Christianity.
National language Since 1955 the so-called Mandarin
(Putonghua) has been the official language of the People's Republic. The
Mandarin is based on the Beijinhua, the Beijing dialect. The younger generations
in China learned Mandarin in school. However, it happens that when talking to
older Chinese or in rural areas, Mandarin is not understood. Apart from the
different languages of the many minorities in China, the Han Chinese alone
have eight main dialects and numerous secondary dialects. China is not a
linguistically homogeneous country.
China: geography and map
Defined by DigoPaul, the China is a country in East Asia the size of an entire continent. The
country crosses 35 degrees of latitude with a total length of 5,500 km -
starting in the northeast, to the islands of the Zengmu Reef in the south.
The distance between China's northwest on the border with Pakistan, Afghanistan
and the former Soviet Union to Ussuri in the northeast is 5,200 km.
Area and land use
The PR China covers a total area of 9,572,419 km². With this area, China
is the third largest country in the
world after Russia and Canada. Geographically, the country slopes from west to
east. Mountains, high plateaus and hilly landscapes make up two thirds of the
total land area. The respective proportions of the total area of the mainland
Around 9% of the country is forested.
Meadow, pasture land
Around 24% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
6.5% of the land can be described as steppe or wasteland. Parts of the Gobi
desert show features of the steppe.
Arable land and fields
Around 36% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially in the north
for growing grain and sweet potatoes and in the south for growing rice.
21% of the country is desert. The largest sandy desert in Central Asia is the
Taklimakan Desert, which is almost completely devoid of vegetation due to its
lack of water. It is located in the north-west of the country between the Tian
Mountains and the Kunlun Mountains. The second largest desert within the PRC is
the Gobi Desert. Its bottom of large-grain red sand is home to only sparse
vegetation, mainly a steppe with grasses and shrubs.
Around 2% of the land is wetlands.
About 33% of the country is mountainous.
Approximately one fifth of the world's population lives in the PR China.
China has a common border with a total of 14 countries. The total length of all
borders is 22,147 km.
There are limits to:
- Afghanistan (76 km)
- Bhutan (470 km)
- Myanmar (2,185 km)
- India (3,380 km)
- Kazakhstan (1,533 km)
- North Korea (1,416 km)
- Kyrgyzstan (858 km)
- Laos (423 km)
- Mongolia (4,677 km)
- Nepal (1,236 km)
- Pakistan (523 km)
- Russia (Northeast) (3,605 km)
- Russia (northwest) (40 km)
- Tajikistan (414 km)
- Vietnam (1,281 km) and
- the Hong Kong Special Administrative Regions (30 km) and Macau (0.34
Furthermore, Beijing regards the Republic of China (Taiwan) as part of the
People's Republic of China.
Longitude and latitude
China extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and
geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):
|Δφ = from around 18 ° to 53 ° to latitude north
Δλ = from around 073 ° to 135 ° east longitude
You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and
For China, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e.
the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a
plus sign that it is later than after CET:
Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones,
The PR China has no summer time, i.e. Central European Time (CET) plus 7 hours
applies in winter and 6 hours during European summer time.
Highest sun level in Beijing (Peking)
Beijing lies at a north latitude of around φ = 40 °.
If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer begins in Beijing, June
21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see
position of the sun):
40 ° = (90 ° - h) + 23.5 °
At 73.5 °, the sun in Beijing has the highest level of the entire year above
the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).
Seven of the world's 19 mountains that are higher than 7,000 m are located
within the PRC or on the Chinese border.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the "roof of the world", includes most of
the high mountains of the People's Republic.
The mountains of the Himalaya chain are also on average 6,000 m above
Among them is the:
Qomolangma (Mount Everest).
The Qomolangma (Mount Everest). With a height of 8,848 m, it is the highest
mountain in the world. it is located in the border area with Nepal. The mountain
was climbed on May 29, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and the
Nepalese Sherpa Tensing. It is interesting that China has so far given the
height of the mountain at 8,844.3 m. Only in April 2010 did China accept the
"Nepalese" altitude specification of 8,848 m.
The mountains Muztag (7,723 m), Muztagata (7,546
m) and Kongur (7,719 m) belong to the Kulun Mountains, which
begin in the west on the Pamir highlands and extend 2,500 kilometers to the
Another mountain range in China is the Hengduan Mountains, a group of
mountain ranges that traverse eastern Tibet, western Sichuan and Yunnan. The
highest peak in the mountains, the Gongga, (7,556 m) measures
here. The average height of the Hengduan Mountains is 3,000 to 4,000 m.
Other high mountains:
Ch'aio-ko-li Feng (K2) (8,611 m)
Kamet (7756 m)
Namjagbarwa Feng (7,755 m)
The longest river in the country and at the same time the third largest
river in the world is the Yangtze (Changjiang), which with a length of around
6,300 km separates the country into the north and south and at the same time
also forms the cultural border. To the north of the river, cereal and sweet
potato cultivation predominate, while wet green rice fields dominate the
landscape in the south. The source of the Yangtze rises at the foot of the
6,621-meter-high Gelandong in the Tanggula Mountains in Qinghai
Province. Although the river is known in Europe as the Yangtze, the upper,
middle and lower reaches have different names. The upper course is still called
Tuotuo, then Tongtianhe, and from Yibin in Qingahai to Sichuan it is called the
Gold Sand River (Jinshaijang). The middle course is called Ghanjiang,
Yellow River (Huáng Hé)
Historically, the Yellow River (Huáng Hé) is China's most important
river. Its source is in Qinghai, then flows north via Lanzhou and then paves its
way south at Baotou in Mongolia. On his journey he crosses the fertile loess
plain, on whose soil the first communities settled. The river created the
prerequisite for the emergence of Chinese civilization. The 5,464 km long river
takes its name from the yellow loess soil, which is easily eroded and washed
into the river due to the lack of planting.
Other major rivers in the country are:
Mekong with a length of around 4,909 km
Pearl River with a length of around 2,197 km
Brahmaputra with a length of around 2,900 km
Amur with a length of around 2,824 km
Salwawien with a length of around 2,500 km as well
the Xi jiang with a length of around 2,011 km.
The Poyang-Ho is the largest freshwater lake in China. It is located in
Jiangxi Province, about 50 km north of Nanchang. During the rainy season the
lake has a size of up to 4,000 km², in dry conditions its size is reduced to
approx. 1,000 km². The lake, with an average depth of 8 m, is one of the most
important rice-growing areas in China. A 1 km long canal connects China's
largest lake with China's longest river - the Yangtze.
Dongting Hu Lake
The Dongting Hu Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in China
with an area of 2,820 km². Located on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River,
the lake stretches between Hunan Province and Hubei Province. Covered by
numerous lotus blossoms, the lake is often the scene of many traditional Chinese
myths and legends. Located on the east bank of the lake is the impressive
Yueyang Temple, which was sung about by the poet Fan Zhongyan during the Song
Dynasty (420-479 AD). There are several islands on the lake, the most famous of
which is Junshan Island - not least because of the island's white tea, the
so-called Yin Zhen tea (Yin = silver, Zhen = needle).
Other large lakes are:
- Hongze Hu Lake with an area of around 3,780 km²
- Lop Only with an area of around 3,520 km²
There are around 5,400 islands scattered in Chinese territorial waters. The
island of Taiwan is the largest with an area of 36,000 km², although it is now
a separate democratic state, China still considers it to be part of its
The island of Hainan with an area of 34,380 km² is the largest in the People's
Republic of China. The capital is Haikou.
The island is part of the province of the same name.
The PR China rises to the Spratly, Paracel and Diaoyu Islands. Because of the
local oil reserves, the Spratly Islands are also claimed by Malaysia, Taiwan,
Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
Yellow Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea
China borders the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea to the east and the South
China Sea to the southeast. All of these seas are marginal seas of